Shepherds 20th Anniversary Gala at The Inn at Longshore in Westport on Thursday, October 11th was a time for celebration and for reflection on the accomplishments of our more than 300 student alumni and their mentors. It also served as a platform for creating a foundation for the next 20 years — as Executive Director, Dan McAuliffe noted in his opening remarks, “We are here to celebrate the past and to build for the future.” To view photos from the event as well as the video produced for the evening, click on the appropriate tabs on our home page.
Darien’s Tammy Taylor has been a mentor since 2002. She was introduced to Shepherds shortly after 9/11 and was inspired to try and do something good in her own backyard. Since then, she has been proud to see Curtia, Chinkini & Ugonna graduate from high school and move on to college. A valued board member since 2012, Ms. Taylor has served as Chair of the Mentoring Committee overseeing all mentoring activities including recruitment, training and support.
North Haven’s Greg Dillon, a Notre Dame West Haven alum and former police officer, will join the Shepherds Board of Directors this year. Mentoring his 8th student, Jared a rising senior, Greg has seen the impact that the program has had on many young men and their families. All prior seven of the students Greg has mentored have graduated from high school and moved on to college. Greg still keeps in touch with them and says, “There is tremendous satisfaction in seeing a boy enter NDHS, full of doubt and indecision, maybe lacking confidence or unsure of their goals, and leaving NDHS as a mature, poised young man, brimming with potential, with a plan and a bright future.”
Byron Pitts, Co Anchor of ABC News’ Nightline, is ready to celebrate with the Shepherds Community on Thursday, October 11th at the Inn at Longshore. Are you? Visit www.shepherdsmentors.org for information. Click the link in our news section to view a message from Byron.
On Thursday evening, October 11th, Shepherds, a mentoring and scholarship non-profit based in Bridgeport, will celebrate 20 years of “changing students lives” with a gala at The Inn at Longshore in Westport. The evening will feature highly respected TV journalist and co-anchor of ABC News’ Nightline, Byron Pitts, speaking on his inspiring life experience growing up in inner city Baltimore and overcoming the challenges of illiteracy and a speech impediment. NBC 4 New York Weatherman, Dave Price will be the Emcee and two of the Shepherd’s most experienced and dedicated mentors, Tammy Taylor of Darien and Greg Dillon of North Haven, will receive the prestigious Founder’s Award.
Byron Pitts has covered national news stories and in-depth features for ABC, reporting across the news division, including “Good Morning America,” “World News Tonight with David Muir,” “This Week” and “20/20.” He is a multiple Emmy award winning journalist and news veteran with over 20 years of experience and is known for his thoughtful storytelling, on-the-ground reporting and in-depth interviews. In addition, Pitts is the author of Step Out on Nothing: How Faith and Family Helped Me Conquer Life’s Challenges and Be the One: Six True Stories of Teens Overcoming Hardship with Hope.
Shepherds supports inner-city teens from the New Haven and Bridgeport areas where the graduation rates from public high schools are significantly below their suburban peers. Shepherds empowers these students to build a foundation for their success by providing 4 year scholarships for a college preparatory education at Notre Dame West Haven High School and Kolbe Cathedral High School, academic and life skill programs, and the positive role model and support of a committed Shepherds mentor.
Results over 20 years have demonstrated that Shepherds students have a much higher likelihood of graduating from high school, pursuing higher education, breaking the cycle of poverty and becoming productive members of society. Two hundred sixty-five students who might otherwise have dropped out of high school have graduated and gone on to institutions of higher learning or to military or civil service roles.
Shepherds has been successful because of the loyal support and commitment of its many mentors and sponsors. This year’s recipients of the Shepherds’ Founder’s Award have mentored several students during their time with the organization.
Tammy Taylor has been a mentor since 2002 and is a longstanding Board member. She has served as Chair of the Mentoring Committee overseeing all mentoring activities including recruitment, training and support. Mr. Dillon has mentored 8 students through graduation from his alma mater, Notre Dame High School in West Haven. He will join Shepherds Board of Directors in recognition of his incredible support for the organization.
Would you like to change a life? Visit www.shepherdsmentors.org or call 203-367-4273 to purchase tickets to experience and celebrate Shepherds success at the Anniversary dinner or to learn more about Shepherds sponsorship and mentoring opportunities.
The planning committee, including Shepherds’ Board of Directors (BOD), met recently to continue planning for this year’s 20th anniversary celebration scheduled for Thursday, October 11th at The Inn at Longshore in Westport. The planning committee met following a BOD meeting at Woodway Country Club in Darien Connecticut. Stay tuned for all of the exciting details including guest speakers, awards, and of course the celebration of the more than 200 students and mentors who have helped to make this program such an enduring success. We need 20 new mentors for the coming year – what about you? Visit www.shepherdsmentors.org for details or to donate to a student’s college prep education in Connecticut.
Front Row: Shepherds’ PR Committee, Jean Lepore; Shepherds’ Cofounder, Barnet Phillips; Gala Committee Chair, Sharon Phillips; BOD Member, Tammy Taylor; Shepherds’ Director of Programming, Amy Chickles; BOD Member, Fred McMullen
Middle Row: Carrie Sindelar, Shepherds’ Executive Director, Daniel McAuliffe
Back Row:Shepherds’ Treasurer, Lou Taylor; BOD Members Tom Wynne & Dave Moran; Shepherds’ Chairman, Tim Stuart; Shepherds’ Secretary, Mark Milano